Smell is one of our most powerful senses. In fact olfactory clues are quite strong at eliciting memories. It was a natural evolution that scent started to be studied as part of a brand identity. The objective is to create a connection between a brand and a specific scent so that the memories the costumers build – or are lead to build – about a brand may be triggered when that scent is again caught.
While this is still a field in development, although a rapid one, there are several brands that already invested on scent marketing according to this article on Business Week:
Scenting an entire building is the latest ambition in a growing business that has, for years, gone unnoticed by most consumers. Roger Bensinger, executive vice-president for scent marketing company Prolitec, estimates there are now 20 companies worldwide specializing in ambient scent-marketing and dispersion technology. While many of these companies are privately held, industry executives value the business at roughly between $80 million and $100 million. These enterprises typically pair with fragrance companies and share in the scenting and machine maintenance dues, which can range anywhere from $100 to $10,000 a month depending on the size of the space to be scented.
No longer confined to lingerie stores, ambient scenting became standard practice in casinos in the early 2000s and invaded the hospitality sector soon thereafter. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts employs Welcoming Warmth, a mix of fig, jasmine, and freesia. Westin Hotel & Resorts disperses White Tea, which attempts to provide the indefinable “Zen-retreat” experience. (Despite its abstraction, the line was successful enough to inspire Westin’s 2009 line of White Tea candles.) Marriott offers different smells for its airport, suburban, and resort properties. The Mandarin Oriental Miami sprays Meeting Sense in conference rooms in an effort, it claims, to enhance productivity. In the mornings, the scent combines orange blossom and “tangy effervescent zest.” In the afternoon, executives work away while sniffing “an infusion of Mediterranean citrus, fruit, and herbs.”
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